New dog greeter spreading smiles at prestigious B.C. hotel

Trained as a guide dog, Winston was ‘too friendly’ for official service

Winston officially started in his new role as canine ambassador at Fairmont Empress this week. Tracy Drake, director of Public Relations at Fairmont Empress, says he has received a warm welcome by both guests and staff. (Keri Coles/News staff)

The Fairmont Empress in Victoria has a new greeter who is winning hearts and spreading smiles.

Winston, a two-and-a-half-year-old puppy – three parts yellow lab and one part golden retriever – officially started in his role as canine ambassador this week.

“He is certainly the belle of the ball,” said Tracy Drake, director, Public Relations at Fairmont Empress. “He’s great with guests and the staff love him.”

Trained as a guide dog in Ontario by the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, Winston didn’t quite make the cut as a professional service dog.

“In Winston’s case he was too friendly,” said Drake. “It’s a great way to be a drop out. He’s perfect for us.”

RELATED: B.C. Guide dogs is looking for volunteer puppy raisers

The Fairmont chain occasionally works with Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, taking in dogs that didn’t wind up being suited to work as professional service dogs, for various reasons.

Hotel Vancouver has Ella and her best friend Elly, both former BC Guide Dog trainees who each found they were better suited to the social life of a hotel ambassador.

Chateau Lake Louise has Marcus who holds the esteemed title of Director of Pet Relations at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies.

Banff Springs Hotel has a black Labrador named Bear who brings 18 months of training to his position as a graduate of the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind Program.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler has Alta who is a black Labrador, and is “arguably the most popular team member of Fairmont Chateau Whistler.”

RELATED: Vancouver Island service dogs helping veterans deal with PTSD

Winston is the latest recruit and already has a popular following. He even has his own Instagram account for visitors who want to keep tabs on the friendly pup.

“It’s a great addition to the hotel. It’s a unique wellness piece. I think a lot of people find travel very stressful and having a dog or something that resembles home for them is very comforting,” said Drake.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Trained as a guide dog in Ontario by the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, Winston didn’t quite make the cut as a professional service dog as he was “too friendly”. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Just Posted

Vernon paddleboarders raise more than $40K for People Place

Third annual Stand Up For charity paddleboard event exceeds $25,000 goal

Square footage may be revisited for Vernon cultural centre

Greater Vernon Cultural Centre could see size shrink up to 20 per cent as cost-savings measure

Brain safety top of mind for Lake Country kids

Bylaw officers noticing a number of youth out riding bikes, scooters, skateboards without helmets

UPDATE: House fire spreads to bush off Westside

Small blaze burning near Vernon in Six Mile area

Wildfire sparked at Stuart Creek near Westside Road

An air tanker has been requested, according to BC Wildfire

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

COVID-19 outbreak at South Okanagan farm declared over

There continues to be other community exposure events in the Interior Health region

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

VIDEO: Revelstoke rallies to save snared eagle

Local climber scales tree to save the raptor

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Most Read